Located at the tip of the North Fork, Orient by the Sea is what I’m going to call a getaway restaurant, because even though you’re still on Long Island you feel as if you’ve traveled farther. It was a beautiful Long Island night, with a cool breeze and clear skies so we passed up on the more formal indoor dining and opted for the casual outdoor seating. The view was breathtaking, seated right outside the dock where we could watch the Cross Sound Ferry make its leisurely trek across to Connecticut. As the sun set, we could imagine that we were far away at some tropical location – complete with the awesome meal we were enjoying.
I found a welcome surprise in the not-so-standard breadbasket at Orient by the Sea – delectable zucchini bread. At first glance I thought it was some kind of corn bread, but as I looked a little more closely at it, I could see the flecks of bright green running throughout the bread, as well as the muted red flecks of cinnamon and it clicked – zucchini bread! Our waitress confirmed my guess adding that the girls at Orient by the Sea make the zucchini bread, which I found to be wonderfully moist and sweet, and with a little smear of butter on top – yum!
For our appetizer we shared Orient by the Sea’s fried calamari. Tender rings of squid battered with a slightly spicy and satisfyingly crunchy bread coating, dunked in Orient’s marinara – it was delicious. We decided on salad to lighten the meal, and I took our waitress’s advice and tried their Caesar salad, which was one of the best I’ve had in a VERY long time. The creamy dressing, the crunchy croutons, slivers of Parmesan and super fresh romaine – it all made for a perfect salad.
For dinner my husband chose the aged sirloin strip steak, served with fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes – he cleaned his plate and proclaimed it to be “delish.” I was in the mood for seafood, so I indulged in the two-pound lobster our waitress said was just caught that day. What could be better than lobster plucked right from the sea? The crustacean came out beautifully bright red, cracked in just the right places so that I could easily remove the succulent meat from the shell, served with warm butter for dipping. The meat was moist, tender and wonderfully sweet and fresh. I was in lobster heaven, and I ate the entire lobster, plus my perfectly baked potato!
Orient by the Sea boasts a menu full of items fresh from the sea, and favorites for you land lovers as well! A few caught my eye, like the lobster stuffed ravioli, Frutti Di Mare, stuffed shrimp scampi, and the shipwreck chicken which is sautéed Francaise style with mushrooms, artichokes and mozzarella – sounds yummy! Orient by the Sea has the complete package – great food, amazing atmosphere and an unbeatable location at the tip of Long Island’s beautiful North Fork.
Orient by the Sea Restaurant & Marina, 40200 Main Rd, Orient. 631-323-2424, www.orientbythesea.com.